When Will Mexican Automakers Restart Operations?By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 04/14/2020 - 10:16
Across the globe, automakers have ceased operations as COVID-19 advances. In mid-March, some automakers based in Mexico started to suspend operations for days that later became weeks. From late March, to mid-April, to mid-May, when will it be safe to restart production?
Given that Mexican manufacturing operations are strongly linked to those in the US, we can expect the shutdown to last at least until early May. Last Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state's shutdown from April 14 to April 30. The Top 3 US manufacturers, GM, FCA and Ford, had considered this deadline as a safe date to restart operations.
However, seizing the costs, automakers are now insisting to resume operations under strict health measures. "We know the protocols to keep people safe," told Gerald Johnson, GM's Executive Vice President for Global Manufacturing, to Reuters. The company intends to adapt measures Amazon took to protect warehouse workers. Nevertheless, GM has not scheduled a reopening date for its operations.
In Brazil, GM and Toyota announced a 60-days suspension.
This story is seen throughout Europe and Latin America. In Brazil, for instance, GM and Toyota have taken the most severe measures so far, announcing a 60-days suspension on operations, with both companies expecting to resume operations by June 22. FCA and Volkswagen have not announced when they expect to resume operations.
In Mexico, the president announced during his daily press briefing on April 8, his intention to allow automotive operations to resume a few days after they are back on track in the US. Automotive industry representatives from AMIA, AMDA, ANPACT and INA have repeatedly stressed the strategic importance of this sector for the Mexican economy, while urging the Health Council in charge of dictating COVID-19 contingency measures to allow automotive companies to operate.